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Osama bin Laden followed Kashmir developments, Headley trial: CIA files

Osama bin Laden was a regular reader of some of the top Indian publications, and was interested in news related to Kashmir and several terrorists especially IIlyas Kashmiri.

world Updated: Nov 02, 2017 09:27 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Washington
Osama bin Laden,Kashmir,David Coleman Headley
Documents seized during the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s house in Pakistan have been released by the CIA.(AP)

Osama bin Laden closely followed developments in Kashmir and the trial of Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case, according to documents seized during the 2011 US raid on a Pakistani compound that killed the al Qaeda founder.

The Central Intelligence Agency released on Wednesday 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead Osama.

The files include Osama’s son’s wedding video and diaries left by the Saudi-born militant.

The documents revealed that Osama closely followed news related to the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Headley and was a regular reader of some of the top Indian publications.

An Indian Express article titled “Omar Sheikh’s Pak handler Ilyas Kashmiri also handledHeadley” was found from the computer of Osama in Abbottabad. The article was dated November 16, 2009.

An article “Fears of air-borne terrorists strikes in India, UK” published in Sri Lanka Guardian was also found in a separate file on the computer.

A PTI story “Al-Qaeda helping Taliban to destabilise Pak Government: Gates”, dated February 9, 2010, was also found on the computer.

Another article found on Osama’s computer was about the coded communications between Headley and his HuJI links. The news article was published by The Times of India on November 15, 2009.

Osama also saved on his computer another PTI article, titled “India to send magistrate to US to record Headley’s statement”.

He highlighted in yellow some portion of the article titled “Pak Major handled Headley’s India recce”, published on March 16, 2010.

The highlighted portion reads, “The dossiers also sought the custody of Pakistani terrorist, Ilyas Kashmiri. Kashmiri is the chief of the 313 Brigade and acts as the military operations head of the al Qaeda. Intercepts reveal that Kashmiri told two attackers inside Nariman House, ‘Keep fighting, Brigade 313 has been deployed’.”

The documents also revealed that Osama was interested in news related to Kashmir and several terrorists especially IIlyas Kashmiri.

An Economic Times story ”US asks Pakistan to find Iyas Kashmiri” dated January 7, 2010 was found among the saved documents on his computer.

A February 2009 article “Pakistani Kashmiri militants now fighting NATO forces“ was also found.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 09:25 IST